homemade pita chips with kalamata tapenade
I used to make this tapenade dip years ago in my catering days. What’s special about it is that it is not like every other tapenade, which is an intense one note black olive puree. My tapenade is lighter in texture and in taste because I added freshly roasted eggplant and sweet sundried tomatoes to balance the punch of the olive. I was always busy in the summer doing BBQ’s and people would always give compliments on the dip (some would even place orders for it at the party). It’s useful for a host to put out finger snacks as your guests arrive because everyone is coming with hungry bellies and otherwise it just feels like vultures lingering around the kitchen waiting for the food to come out. P.S. I hate black olives, I never touch the stuff.
Homemade Pita Chips
Yield: 48 pieces
Rating: Awesome. Super easy.
3 round pita breads with pockets
Oil spray (like Pam)
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees (or 325 convection).
Using a serrated bread knife, cut your pita into 8 pieces (like a pizza). Then take each piece and cut in half- separating the pocket and creating two pieces. So each pita will give you 16 pieces. Spread the bread out on a baking sheet and spray generously with the oil spray and sprinkle with salt. Turn each piece over and repeat. Place your sheet trays in the oven and bake for 10 minutes, rotating the trays from front to back at the 5 minute mark. When your chips are completely cool, you can store them in an airtight container or zippered bag.
The chips can be made up to 2 days before serving for optimal freshness.
Note: I always cut open each olive to check for pits or fragments. Within each jar of pitted olives, I always find one. Trust me – your teeth will appreciate it.
Yield: 1 quart
Rating: Super easy with big reward.
1 small eggplant, cut in half lengthwise
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
1 jar of pitted Kalamata olives (I like the “Krinos” brand)
12 sundried tomatoes
6 basil leaves
1 handful of parsley
1 garlic clove (or 2 frozen cubes)
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees (or 350 convection).
Take your eggplant halves and spray the flesh with oil spray and sprinkle with salt. Place flesh side down in a baking dish or on a sheet tray and roast in the oven for 30 minutes. Scoop out the flesh and place in a food processor. Add your olives, sundried tomatoes, basil, parsley, garlic and oil. Process in the machine for about 30 seconds or a little longer if you like it really smooth.
To store the tapenade, place it in an air tight container with plastic wrap directly on the surface of the tapenade – then cover your container.
Plan Ahead: This will stay fresh in the refrigerator for about 10 days. So definitely make this ahead of time. I suspect this freezes well but I never have any leftovers to try it out on. I will update you when I know more.